RETRO: Illuminating Dinnington

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Welcome to Dinnington - the latest letter D stop on our alphabetical journey of Sheffield and its surrounding areas.

According to the Dinnington and District Historical Society, the Rotherham town, its people and its events have a fascinating story which goes back many thousands of years.

Excavations show the town has been inhabited since at least Neolithic times. It has been suggested Dinnington takes its name from a local barrow - or cairn - although a more traditional interpretation would be ‘Dunn’s Farmstead’, or ‘Town of Dunns People’.

Dinnington was originally a small, isolated farming community based on the New Road area. The town grew somewhat thanks to quarrying in the area, although the population explosion was caused by the sinking of the Dinnington Main Colliery in 1905. The 1911 census shows the population had increased 20 times in size from 1901 - from 250 to some 5,000. At first, the coal miners lived in a ‘tin town’, or shanty town, in Laughton Common - but moved later into terraced houses around the central shopping district at Laughton Road.

Dinnington continued to grow throughout the 20th century, largely due to the growth of commuter living after World War II. However, by the late 1980s and early 1990s the area faced a rapid decline due to the closure of the coal and steel industries.

Dinnington Colliery was closed in 1992, which caused huge damage to the local community and had a large negative impact on the local economy, with job losses and business closures.

Eleven years later, in 2003, Dinnington was officially declared a town as part of an attempt to attract more investment and improve the local economy.

Despite the many setbacks, Dinnington has retained a strong community spirit over the years.

It has its own football and rugby clubs, an active church community and a youth theatre group.

Dinnington’s high street include such stores as Tesco, Superdrug, Poundstretcher and Aldi, who trade alongside traditional, family-owned butchers, greengrocers and small traders.

There are also some big businesses based in Dinnington, including Manor Motorsport, known in Formula One as Manor F1, on Manor Drive. There’s also road and floor surface specialists Blastrac UK on Outgang Lane in Laughton Common.